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Hope you enjoyed "Evening with AK and friends."

Thursday, May 11, 2023

"Evening with AK and friends 2023" was successfully held and I want to put down my thoughts on paper while I still have them. 

I think it was evident at the event that my memory really wasn't very good. 

I feel that it isn't what it used to be. 

Used to be able to remember things easily and rattle off precise numbers too.

Not so anymore.

Hope dementia does not come too early for me.

Crossing fingers.

Here are a few things I want to say.

1. Thank you!

I want to register my heartfelt thanks to my friend, Kenji, for organizing the event.

It would not have happened if he did not offer to organize it because AK was too lazy.

Kenji is always very concerned that I don't go out enough and that I don't socialize enough.

I am blessed to have a handful of good friends like him who I must admit I don't make enough time for.

Don't need many friends.

Only need a few good friends.

2. Thank you again!

I also want to thank the two young men seated in the front row. 

They took on the role of photographers as readers asked for photos with AK.

Thank you plenty plenty.

3. If AK can do it, so can you!

To people who got the little souvenir from AK, I hope it helps you to remember that what AK has achieved is not impossible for regular folks.

If AK can do it, so can you!

4. No photo because I forgot.

I forgot to pass my camera to Kenji to take photos.

So, no photo of the event to share in this blog.


5. Epic chit chat Q&A!

"Evening with AK and friends" has always been an epic chit chat session driven by Q&A.

Hope that I have answered all your questions satisfactorily.

Please bear in mind the following.

For sure, I do not have all the answers and I am as fallible as any other person.

6. Technical Analysis.

Someone asked me about technical analysis.

Here are a few books I would recommend.

Recommended books for FA and TA.

7. Remember the pyramid!

I shared this in many blogs and one was in a blog about Wilmar.

"S" at the tip of the pyramid stands for "speculative" position and we should always keep this small.

Wilmar: Target reacquired.

8. Remember the Rule of 15.

It really shows who were the people swimming naked.

I mentioned Anita Yuen and her husband at the event and it's all in this blog.

Rule of 15 revisited.

9. Gold is for insurance.

Precious metals are not investments.

Why get them?

Why investors for income buy gold?

10. Totally honest.

Many things I shared at the event, I would never publish here in my blog for various reasons.

I wasn't joking when I asked you not to do any video or audio recording.

Even if what I said or the answers I gave might be jarring at times, I held nothing back and gave my all.

11. REITs handout.

I think there were a few readers who wanted the handout on REITs but didn't get it.

I published the handout in a few blogs before and I found one published in 2022.

If you are interested, you should be able to save it in your phone.

Just a list of pointers and nothing mind blowing.

How to invest in REITs?

12. Very touched.

According to Kenji, 280 people turned up.

An overwhelming number stayed till the end.

If the PA system didn't tell us that it was time to go, we might have stayed longer.

To all who came, thank you for showing me that talking to myself for more than 10 years has been helpful not only to myself.

I hope you found that the evening with AK was time well spent.

Until the next time, remember not too be overly optimistic nor pessimistic.

Always stay pragmatic.

Nobody cares more about our money than we do.

Don't ask barbers if we need a haircut!

If AK can do it, so can you!


Yv said...


It was great to "see" you in person for the first time and thanks for addressing questions way past 10pm. I enjoyed your candid sharing but was too shy to ask to take a photo. :)

Didn't get a chance to ask this yesterday. Not sure if I remembered correctly, you mentioned that you did average up for UOB. May I know in what circumstances do you average up, rather than down?

AK71 said...

Hi Yv,

Alamak. At least come and say "hi" mah. :)

As for averaging up, easy answer is price didn't go down, how to average down? ;p

Well, jokes aside, it is all about valuation.

If the price of a stock has gone up but the underlying value has gone up as well, paying a higher price today isn't necessarily a bad thing.

This is especially if the business is doing very well and if it is clear that the underlying value is going to grow in future.

That led my decision in averaging up my investment in UOB last October at $26 a share.

Joey Yong said...

Hi AK,
Finally managed to see u live for the first time yesterday and took photos with u during the break, came with mum. Was a great and fruitful session and we stayed till the end. Good reminder on cpf, emergency fund and the need for insurance- insurance that i am lacking especially on critical illness and h&s plans and term life. Will do research on ntuc plans.. hehe :) :3

Ps. Must eat more, u look skinner than in 2017/2018 :(

AK71 said...

Hi Joey,

Alamak. I already gained 5 kgs from 7 or 8 months ago.

I think my weight is just right now. :)

I had quite a few health issues when I was 12 kgs heavier than now many years ago. (TmT)

Still, thank you so much for showing concern. :D

Definitely, must take photo with AK!

It is in the ticket price! Don't take how can? ;p

When I had to do research into which insurance products to buy, many times, I concluded that NTUC Income was the best in terms of value for money.

I don't know if it is still the case since I haven't bought any insurance products for many years apart from motor insurance.

Insurance is a topic I blog about regularly and here is a link to the label in my blog.
All my blogs on insurance.

Gambatte! :D

Yv said...

Alamak, I did introduce myself lah, when you were still addressing a couple of questions outside the hall.

I was the first one to say Hi, I am YV and shake your hand too, before you did a round of hand-shaking and call it a day.

AK71 said...

Hi Yv,

Alamak! That was you?

I heard the name as "Wai Yee" for some reason.

Jialat. Growing old sucks. (TmT)

So glad you could make it and I hope you enjoyed yourself. :)

It is OK if you didn't learn anything useful but at least must enjoy the evening! ;p

Welcome back to Singapore! :D

keng said...

Hi AK,

I rushed down from work to the event and was glad to find a front row seat next to the helpful cameramen and have our photo taken (main objective achieved).

Thanks for the great sharing!

Please let us know early when is your next AK & friends :P

See you again next year! ;P

AK71 said...

Hi keng,

So glad to know you could make it! :D

You chose a good seat too. ;p

Alamak! So fast ask for next event date already? LOL.

Well, seeing as how the tickets were not fully sold this time, there is no pressure to organise another session in the near future.

Hope you enjoyed the evening and we shall see what happens next year. ;)

Star and Skies said...

Hi AK,

Thanks so much for the session yesterday! It was my first time attending and really appreciate the candid sharing, wise advices as well as all the jokes and laughter. Seeing you in person also made the "If AK can do it, so can you" much more real and do-able. :)

I actually had a question but was too shy to ask yesterday so thought I would try to ask here. I was wondering with the regular savings from salary, should I

Star and Skies said...

Sorry, accidentally pressed published before I finished typing!

My question is with the regular savings from salary, would it be better to refund housing in CPF, top up SRS or just put in warchest? This is assuming medisave is already at limit and I have already topped up the 8k CPF SA for tax relief. The SRS has tax relief and I think I can invest with it but not sure if it's better than reducing the accrue interest from CPF as I have no plans to sell house anytime soon. But both this options means the cash is sort of locked up so not sure when the dividends will be usable if investing with OA or SRS.

Thanks for any advice and also also for letting us listen when you talk to yourself!

AK71 said...

Hi Stars and Skies,

Glad you enjoyed the event! :D

Definitely easier if you came without expectations and just wanted a good laugh. ;)

If we use CPF OA or SRS funds to invest in stocks, the dividends go into the CPF OA and SRS account.

You will still be able to use the money eventually to help fund your retirement, of course. :)

If you were to do a voluntary refund to your CPF OA, you are basically making the government pay you 2.5% p.a. and, so, it is really like buying a bond with a 2.5% p.a. coupon.

Depend on how old you are now, it could be a long term, medium term or short term bond. ;)

If you are sure you are able to generate a greater than 2.5% p.a. return with the money you have on hand, why do a voluntary refund?

However, you want to weigh your potential investment decisions against the fact that the 2.5% p.a. interest is from a "bond" which is risk free and volatility free.

Having some money put aside to do yearly top up to get income tax relief is possibly a better idea if you are still gainfully employed.

I am willing to bet that your income tax bracket is higher than 2.5% in such an instance.

That accrued interest really isn't such a scary thing now but I understand that for risk averse people, voluntary refund to the CPF OA is definitely still an option.

In fact, I promoted the idea when interest rates were very low and leaving excess money in a savings account which was being paid 0.25% p.a. was just plain silly.

The case for doing a voluntary refund is weaker now when even fixed deposits are paying north of 3% p.a. and these are pretty risk free and definitely volatility free too.

Just talking to myself. ;)

yuhui said...

hello ak,

i also have sleep apnea which started even in my 20s but what i've found most effective ( and also turned out the cheapest) was using nasal strips but only the breathe right brand. i guess that's why they have a patent but all the other cheaper brands don't work. the ent specialists kept recommending surgery which is great for a while before the problem bounces back with a vengeance. obviously it was not in their interest to tell me about the latter. i've always thought the strips were a scam and didn't bother till 10 years later as a last resort. regret. also, taping your mouth. jus 3m medical tape. there's a book called breathe by james nestor worth reading while taking a break from gaming :) i'm so glad i made it to your session. thank you for your time

yuhui said...

i'm chunking into different paragraphs for easier organisation of thought. cos old liao. i get confused and lose train of thought.

1) please could you ramble to yourself about the safe withdrawal rate retirement model and the concept of die with zero? for singles with no interest in legacy but still a looooooong way from financial freedom?

2) what do you think of vanguard etfs and dimensional funds?

3) i stupidly put in 7k in my srs when i shouldn't have. boohoo. ( bad move. not worth bothering you with the reason) bought some unit fund via poems. dropped to 5k and still yet to recover. would you recommend biting the bullet, pulling out to buy t bills and then slowly build it up since i can't touch it for 7 years till i'm 55 or leave it there paying monthly fees and hoping the fund will go up?

thank you :)

AK71 said...

Hi yuhui,

Thank you so much for sharing the solutions you have found for sleep apnea!

I will have to try the nasal strips you recommended.

I have not tried any because I was told by so many that they don't work.

As for surgery, a friend did that and she said she slept so well after that but the problem did come back many months later.

However, in my case, the doctor in SGH told me surgery wasn't even an option and that it would not help.

As prescribed, I tried sleeping with a CPAP machine for a few weeks but it was so uncomfortable that I gave up.

Resigned to the fact that I have a higher chance of dying from a heart attack in my sleep.

Hope to find a good deal for those nasal strips. ;p

Glad that you could make it to the event and I hope you enjoyed yourself. :)

AK71 said...

Hi yuhui,

Hey, no worries. I understand growing old. ;)

1. Singles who want to stay single and to achieve financial freedom plus dying with zero? Sounds like they are perfect candidates for Lean F.I.R.E. which isn't for me but it could be good enough for many people.

Retirement drawdown strategy and passive income.
Lean F.I.R.E. and struggling with higher costs.

2. I feel that buying an STI index fund is a good enough option as an investor for income in Singapore although one could certainly consider the two you mentioned if one is looking for diversification. Of course, different people have different objectives.

3. You know what I say about investing and speculating, right? Who knows what the price is going to be like in future? Remember that no one cares more about your money than you do. Be careful when you buy financial products. If the only one guaranteed to make money is the seller, year after year, I would think twice. So, keep or sell? I blur.

If I had a 7 year horizon, I would buy stocks of OCBC or UOB now instead of T-bills.

Long term match long term. Short term match short term.

Alamak. That sounds like some old Chinese match making advice. ;p

yuhui said...

LOL if i ever match-made to golden tortoise, i will invite you to my wedding. but singlehood is liberating. as liberating as FI and i only wish i'd started earlier but i will always be grateful i stumbled upon your blog thousands of moons ago. it planted the seed of an idea.

i tried cpap, all those precious dollars down the loo. v heart pain. but useless one. i think will kena heart attack faster with the dastard machine so never mind lah. as long as go to sleep happy, heart will be fine.

if u have frens gg japan, they're much cheaper. they were sold out in spore during covid and i had to trouble frens who were in states post-covid to help. apparently, iherb also sells now. but if u just wanna try, am happy to snail mail a few pieces so you don't have to buy the whole box and waste. some ppl recycle but sleep is so precious to me i don't wanna risk even losing one night of good sleep cos i vain, sleep deprivation very aging.

tits and toes crossed ocbc/uob drops enuf for me to nibble. job security isn't a given for me so i've been religiously relying on t-bills. leering lasciviously at ireit and looking forward to payday.

i hope you keep talking to yourself for a long long time.

AK71 said...

Hi yuhui,

Oh, I agree that being single is a wonderful state of being. :D

I don't ever quarrel with myself, for example. ;p

Every night when I thought of using CPAP machine to go to sleep, I got palpitations. Die faster like that. (TmT)

Aiyoh, I very giamsiap but I will buy a box of the nasal strips to try. LOL.

I have become a lot less tight fisted with money in recent years. :)

Really, I would not have even considered giving away my precious tea bags 10 years ago like I did during "Evening with AK and friends", for example. ;p

Still, thank you for the very kind offer. :)

I might produce a video on DBS, OCBC and UOBs' stock prices later. Look out for it. ;)

As long as I still enjoy doing it, I will continue to talk to myself unless I kaput liao.

AK71 said...

And this is my latest video on DBS, OCBC and UOB.

Which bank would I prioritize? At what prices to buy more?

Remember to hit thumbs up to "Like" the video. ;p

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